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CNY Regional Transportation Authority, CENTRO Downtown Transit Hub


Syracuse, NY


8,440 sf (Building), 1.8 acre site (22 Bus Bays)

LEED® Silver Certification


  • AIA New York State Excelsior Awards Program – Public Architecture, Category:  New Construction, 2014

  • AIA CNY Design Award, Commercial/Industrial Category, 2013


  • PB Americas, Inc. - Concept Planning

  • Fisher Associates - Environmental and Traffic Engineering

This critical public transportation project was key to unlocking potential in Syracuse’s main street rejuvenation. The prior on-street transfer hub depended on coordinating buses at four corners of a primary intersection, resulting in passengers crossing streets or seeking shelter at nearby businesses. Improved services, safety and operational efficiency are now provided in a centralized weather-protected transfer hub that alleviates traffic congestion.

The transfer hub site provides a prominent southern gateway to the city, transformed from an abandoned building and parking lot into a vibrant new community resource. To maximize the number of on-site buses, the design team vetted several solutions with full-size off-site mock-ups tested by drivers to validate the tight site. The final sawtooth bus bay configuration, organized around a central island with two flanking islands, allows independent arrival and departure at each bus stop. A 62,000 SF canopy covers all 22 stations to achieve the weather-protected facility. Snow-melt systems at the boundary bus stops enhance pedestrian safety and reduce platform maintenance.

CNYRTA’s goal was to elevate the experience of public transportation with enhanced public service, security, shelter, comfort, and beauty. Indoor waiting for longer transfers, and public restrooms, are provided in the administration building along with second floor staff break and administration areas. Custom ceramic art installations reflect the geography of the region with colors honoring the four seasons.

Sustainable objectives were achieved with:

  • Redevelopment of an urban brownfield

  • Storm water management, a key priority for the City, detaining storm water in existing subsurface soil conditions

  • Large daylighting panels filter light across the canopy platforms, integrated with digitally controlled LED fixtures

  • Natural ventilation at the saw-toothed canopy eliminated exhaust fans.

  • LED lighting systems and high efficiency HVAC equipment to reduce energy consumption in the administration building.

  • Public information outreach using comprehensive 3D modeling

By reestablishing the street edges and visually anchoring the adjacent public park boundary, the architecture responds to the urban context with a welcoming presence for the community and central business district. The result has been furtherance of the downtown resurgence with significant financial investments at the former transfer intersection and also at adjacent properties.

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